Friday, November 16, 2007

Early xmas gifts

So I closed on my house! It hasn't quite sunk in yet, but it's fun to say out loud. Oh and I did, many many times at wine happy hour I went to last night with my coworkers, 5 (6?) glasses of wine and one of champagne later (though apparently I'm a party pooper heading home after four hours at midnight, rather than the 4:30 am last call some other folks waited for. clearly I'm out of practice.) I had more surprises during the closing (the # underneath "Buyer Pays At Closing" changed, literally, three times while I was sitting at the table), and the seller, who was supposed to send their papers over for a 9am signing, kept us waiting until 5:29 and 59 seconds p.m. for them.

I think I've already got my first victim, er, friend, who is going to haul over to Home Depot with me to pick up some essentials (front door lock!) and do some pre-work before the contractors start their work. I've got my HVAC and flooring guys lined up and ready to roll, and it looks like -- if everything goes on schedule (you laughed, I heard it), the house will be move-in ready a few days before Christmas. I can't wait to unwrap it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Don't be jealous, Mom

Oh Yes I Did

Last time we had a little DCist arts staff happy hour, both the theater and classical music critics mentioned that sometimes they can't fill their +1 for the shows they review. It also came out that somehow I've never been to the Kennedy Center, and don't get out to non-visual arts shows enough, so maybe I should start taking advantage of these opportunities when they pop up.

Yesterday came the mother of all plus ones, and even though I'd been at the client's all day, doing my best to squeeze two days worth of work into one (and I did!), and had been up since the break of dawn, I said, "Yo-Yo Ma? Yo betcha!" Ah. Terrible. Sorry.

I found out the 80 bus picks up less than a block from my office and goes straight to the Kennedy Center, and even comes with the requisite crazy-ass babbling guy reeking so badly of liquor I could smell him across the bus. Can you believe that was my first time at the Kennedy Center? That was almost exciting enough in itself.

And the concert? Holy crap, it was so good. Yo-Yo is also crazy tall. No, he didn't play the Bach Suite in G Major, but it was amazing nonetheless. He has such visual enthusiasm and passion you almost expect him to stand up, swing the cello over his head and smash it into the band pit with a flourish after every song. I wrote a little naive "ride-along" paragraph for Charles' review, which should be on DCist tomorrow.

The only thing I still don't get? The crazy ass people who pay up the rear to sit on stage behind the featured musicians. So instead of being mesmerized by Yo-Yo's intense caressing of his cello's neck or Stott lifting her arms to launch them into the piano keys, I'm distracted by 80's mom in the shoulder padded Miami Vice jacket, or the twenty-something with the double D's who going to be real sorry in a decade that no one ever gave her a serious lesson in proper bra support.

I feel like I've been doing a little better and trying new things lately, big exciting things like Taking the Bus and Going to Virginia. And now I can add Going to Classical Music Concerts to that, and man, was that ever a way to start!

Okay, I need to go find myself a West Wing rerun.

More on Monkeys

Remember when I nearly died by hand of the monkey in India?

I told you so.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Am I the only one in the world who doesn't find the traditional Thanksgiving dinner appetizing? I was watching Tyler's Ultimate yesterday, and he was making the "ultimate" Thanksgiving dinner, and I nearly couldn't get through the whole episode. There was the plain roasted turkey, fine, but then it got ugly. Frozen cranberries into a pan, which is nasty enough by itself without the 18 cups of sugar and orange zest, in a vain attempt to counteract the bitter awfulness of the berry that never quite goes away. Then he roasted some yams, which I admit I do love, but he roasted them with some bananas, seriously, and then mushed them all together into this smushy banana tainted yam dish.

I guess I just don't get it. Deli turkey is a staple of my diet, but let's be honest, roasted turkey, no matter how well seasoned it is in theory, is usually pretty dry and bland. That's why people smother it in gravy, but that would require liking gravy, which I very much don't. As a child I hated stuffing, I think because of the weird texture of soggy bread, but I've more or less come around on that issue, though I would still never think, "damn this dish would be So Good with some wet stale bread that smells like the inner cavity of a bird!" And seriously, what's with the giblet thing? My grandmother is a fan of turkey gizzards in stuffing. Heinous.

I actually haven't been home for Thanksgiving in about ten years, so I don't get the meal very often, which is probably another reason I don't crave it, and I should say my mom does a pretty good job of doing sort of alternative dishes for holidays. God knows marshmallow topping and green bean casserole have thankfully never come anywhere near our holiday menus. And she makes the best yams.

But seriously. I'll just have some chinese take-out.

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